I have to confess: when I first saw the DVD cover for this film, I thought it was going to be a comedy. I’m not sure why, but the expression of the character on the cover gave me the impression that he was in a funny situation. Thus, my expectations weren’t very high when I started watching it. But wow…I’m glad I did give it a chance; STATE OF EMERGENCY is a top-notch zombie flick that delivers on many levels.
If you are not familiar with STATE OF EMERGENCY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the DVD cover:
After an explosion unleashes the contents of a military bio-weapons plant, the unsuspecting populace is transformed into a roaming army of flesh-eating zombies. Trapped in the quarantine zone, Jim finds himself cut off, confused and fighting for his own survival. Contacted by a small band of others unaffected by the toxins, Jim sets out to reach their besieged warehouse. Becoming the group’s de-facto leader, he struggles to keep order as they hunker down, fortify their stronghold and arm themselves against the attacking mutants. Fragmentary radio reports from outside hint at a last-ditch government rescue plan. But can the survivors hold out until help arrives…or will they succumb to the living hell of the undead apocalypse?
I had never heard of STATE OF EMERGENCY before I got the press release, but I would wager that horror fans will definitely be hearing about this one soon. While it does not really bring anything new to the table, it is a taut, thrilling survival story that will have you squirming in your seat and hiding your eyes.
One major aspect of this film that jumped out at me is the way it looks. I saw in the closing credits that it was shot on a Red One camera, and you can certainly tell; the picture is crystal clear and the quality of the imagery is beautiful. This clarity lets the audience see every blood-splattered detail of zombie head-shots as they occur.
Aside from the look, STATE OF EMERGENCY is shot well and the acting is great. The production value seems high, which would fit since IMDB.com estimates the budget at $1.3 million. Even so, that’s still not much for a movie, and it appears the production team made excellent use of the money they had.
My sole complaint about this film is a very minor one; I don’t like the fact that the zombie head-shots were computer generated. Don’t get me wrong…they are very well done, but they are still “off” enough to stand out. The rest of the effects are practical, though, and look fantastic.
STATE OF EMERGENCY is a great zombie film, and it will definitely generate buzz in regard to slow-moving-zombies-versus-fast-ones (the creatures in this film run). I highly recommend giving it a shot. It not only looks good, but it’s haunting and entertaining as well. The film hits store shelves next week, so make a note.